Capitol Reef National Park vs Great Basin National Park

Feel Free To Share:

Capitol Reef National Park vs Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park are two of the most unique and breathtaking national parks in the United States. These parks are like two sides of a coin, each offering its own distinct landscape, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventurer, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, these two parks are sure to captivate and inspire. From the towering cliffs and narrow canyons of Capitol Reef to the rugged peaks and ancient bristlecone pines of Great Basin, each park offers a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you in awe. So grab your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and get ready to discover the beauty and wonder of Capitol Reef and Great Basin National Parks!

Hiking Trails in Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park:
– Easy Hikes: The park offers several easy hikes, including the Rim Overlook Trail, the Goosenecks Overlook Trail, and the Grand Wash Trail. These trails offer stunning views of the park’s unique geology and landscape.
– Strenuous Hikes: The park has several strenuous hikes, including the Cassidy Arch Trail, the Cohab Canyon Trail, and the Halls Creek Narrows Trail. These hikes offer challenging terrain and stunning views of the park’s remote and rugged backcountry.

Great Basin National Park:
– Easy Hikes: The park offers several easy hikes, including the Bristlecone Pine Trail, the Lehman Creek Trail, and the Glacier Trail. These trails offer an opportunity to see the park’s unique vegetation and wildlife.
– Strenuous Hikes: The park has several strenuous hikes, including the Wheeler Peak Trail, the Alpine Lake Trail, and the Snake Creek Trail. These hikes offer challenging terrain and stunning views of the park’s alpine landscapes and rugged peaks.

In conclusion, both Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park offer a variety of hiking trails for visitors of all skill levels. While Capitol Reef is known for its unique geology and remote backcountry, Great Basin is known for its alpine landscapes and unique vegetation. Both parks offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration of beautiful natural landscapes.

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Capitol Reef National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Hickman Bridge Trail 1.70 mi 426.40 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Cassidy Arch Trail 2.89 mi 701.92 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Grand Wash Trail via Northeast Trailhead 4.39 mi 400.16 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Chimney Rock Loop Trail 3.29 mi 793.76 ft loop Moderate 4.5/5
Cohab Canyon Trail 2.99 mi 793.76 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Navajo Knobs Trail 8.68 mi 2,135.28 ft out and back Hard 4.5/5
Goosenecks & Sunset Point 2.49 mi 544.48 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Capitol Gorge Trail 4.49 mi 373.92 ft out and back Moderate 4/5
Sulphur Creek Route 11.47 mi 1,403.84 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Rim Overlook Trail 4.09 mi 1,052.88 ft out and back Hard 4.5/5

Most Popular Hiking Trails in Great Basin National Park

Name Length Elevation Type Difficulty Visitor Ratings
Wheeler Peak Trail via Stella Lake Trail 8.18 mi 2,906.08 ft out and back Hard 5/5
Bristlecone Pine Glacier Trail 4.49 mi 1,059.44 ft out and back Moderate 4.5/5
Alpine Lakes Trail 2.69 mi 469.04 ft loop Easy 4.5/5
Lehman Cave 0.40 mi 45.92 ft loop Easy 4.5/5
Bristlecone and Alpine Lakes Loop 5.29 mi 1,013.52 ft loop Moderate 4.5/5
Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive 23.25 mi 3,857.28 ft out and back Easy 4.5/5
Baker Lake Trail 10.38 mi 2,669.92 ft out and back Hard 4.5/5
Teresa Lake 1.50 mi 305.04 ft out and back Moderate 5/5
Baker Lake-Johnson Lake Loop 12.87 mi 4,365.68 ft loop Hard 4.5/5
Lexington Arch Trail 2.89 mi 1,118.48 ft out and back Moderate 4/5

Wildlife in Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park are both known for their diverse and abundant wildlife. Both parks are home to a wide variety of animals, birds, and plants that are unique to the region.

At Capitol Reef National Park, visitors can expect to see a variety of mammals, including pronghorns, coyotes, and mule deer. The park is also home to a number of bird species, including golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and turkey vultures. Additionally, the park is known for its diverse plant life, including cacti, wildflowers, and sagebrush.

At Great Basin National Park, visitors can expect to see a variety of mammals, including bighorn sheep, marmots, and black bears. The park is also home to a number of bird species, including mountain bluebirds, Clark’s nutcrackers, and golden eagles. Additionally, the park is known for its unique plant life, including ancient bristlecone pines, which can live for thousands of years, and wildflowers, which bloom in the spring and summer months.

In conclusion, both Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park offer a wealth of wildlife for visitors to see and enjoy. Whether you’re interested in mammals, birds, or plants, these two parks are sure to provide an unforgettable wildlife experience.

Below are lists of the most commonly spotted wildlife at Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park. However, you can see a full list of wildlife at each national park here.

Birds

Capitol Reef National Park Great Basin National Park
Peregrine Falcon Peregrine Falcon
Northern Harrier Northern Harrier
Sharp-Shinned Hawk Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Osprey Osprey
Tree Swallow Tree Swallow
Mallard Mallard
Canada Goose Canada Goose
Lincoln’s Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
American Robin American Robin
Great Horned Owl Great Horned Owl
Red-Tailed Hawk Red-Tailed Hawk
Northern Flicker Northern Flicker
Merlin Merlin
Barn Swallow Barn Swallow
Savannah Sparrow Savannah Sparrow
Great Blue Heron Great Blue Heron
Hermit Thrush Hermit Thrush
American Kestrel American Kestrel
Bald Eagle Bald Eagle
Song Sparrow Song Sparrow
European Starling European Starling
Northern Pintail Northern Pintail
American Wigeon American Wigeon
Green-Winged Teal Green-Winged Teal

Mammals

Capitol Reef National Park Great Basin National Park
Coyote Coyote
American Beaver American Beaver
Muskrat Muskrat
Big Brown Bat Big Brown Bat
Bobcat Bobcat
Striped Skunk Striped Skunk
Little Brown Bat Little Brown Bat
Deer Mouse Deer Mouse
Raccoon Raccoon
Black Bear Porcupine
Porcupine Silver-Haired Bat
Silver-Haired Bat Hoary Bat
Hoary Bat Red Fox
Red Fox Long-Tailed Weasel
Long-Tailed Weasel House Mouse
House Mouse Lion
Mountain Lion Mink
American Mink Mule Deer
Mule Deer Gray Fox
Common Gray Fox Gray Wolf
Long-Legged Myotis Long-Legged Myotis
Long-Eared Myotis Long-Eared Myotis
American Badger Badger
Ermine Ermine
California Myotis Californis Myotis

Fish

Capitol Reef National Park Great Basin National Park
Rainbow Trout Rainbow Trout
Brown Trout Brook Trout
Bluegill Brown Trout
Mottled Sculpin Mottled Sculpin
Speckled Dace Speckled Dace
Black Bullhead Cutthroat Trout
Cutthroat Trout

Reptiles

Capitol Reef National Park Great Basin National Park
Gophersnake Racer
Terrestrial Gartersnake Greater Short-Horned Lizard
Prairie Rattlesnake Rubber Boa
Common Sagebrush Lizard Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard
Greater Short-Horned Lizard Eastern Collared Lizard
Side-Blotched Lizard Eastern Fence Lizard
Common Kingsnake Long-Nosed Snake
Nightsnake Desert Spiny Lizard
Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard Western Fence Lizard
Striped Whipsnake
Smith’s Black-Headed Snake
Tree Lizard
Western Whiptail
Western Skink
Desert Spiny Lizard

Amphibians

Capitol Reef National Park Great Basin National Park
Northern Leopard Frog Tiger Salamander
Tiger Salamander Woodhouse’s Toad
Woodhouse’s Toad Red-Spotted Toad
Red-Spotted Toad Canyon Treefrog
Canyon Treefrog

Beautiful Landscapes in Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park are two of the most beautiful and diverse national parks in the United States, known for their stunning landscapes and natural wonders.

At Capitol Reef National Park, visitors can admire the park’s iconic Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long wrinkle in the earth’s surface that is a unique geologic feature. Other popular landscapes include the towering cliffs of Cathedral Valley, the narrow canyons of Grand Wash, and the scenic overlooks of the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive.

At Great Basin National Park, visitors can marvel at the park’s stunning mountain ranges, including the Wheeler Peak Range, home to the tallest mountain in Nevada. Other popular landscapes include the ancient bristlecone pine forests, the beautiful Lehman Caves, and the scenic overlooks of the Great Basin Scenic Byway.

In conclusion, both Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park offer a wealth of breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re admiring the towering cliffs of Cathedral Valley or exploring the ancient bristlecone pine forests, these parks are sure to leave you in awe and inspire a love of nature.

Things To-Do and Activities in Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park both offer a variety of popular activities for visitors to enjoy. Both parks are known for their stunning natural beauty and offer a range of outdoor activities to suit a variety of interests and abilities.

At Capitol Reef National Park, popular activities include scenic drives, hiking, and rock climbing. The park is home to a number of well-marked trails, including the popular Hickman Bridge Trail, which leads to a natural bridge spanning 133 feet across a canyon. The park’s remote location and lack of crowds make it a popular destination for rock climbers, who come to challenge themselves on the park’s towering cliffs and canyons.

At Great Basin National Park, popular activities include hiking, camping, and stargazing. The park is home to a number of well-marked trails, including the popular Bristlecone Pine Trail, which leads to ancient bristlecone pines, some of which are thousands of years old. The park’s remote location and clear night skies make it a popular destination for stargazers, who come to take in the breathtaking views of the night sky.

In conclusion, both Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park offer a variety of popular activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a scenic drive, these two parks are sure to provide an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Best Time to Visit Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park:
– Summer: Summer temperatures in the park can be quite hot, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to low 90s. Summer is a popular time to visit the park for hiking, rock climbing, and scenic drives.
– Winter: Winter temperatures in the park are mild, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-40s to mid-50s. Winter is a less popular time to visit the park, but it offers opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Great Basin National Park:
– Summer: Summer temperatures in the park are mild, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s. Summer is a popular time to visit the park for hiking, camping, and exploring the park’s alpine landscapes.
– Winter: Winter temperatures in the park can be quite cold, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to mid-30s. Winter is a less popular time to visit the park, but it offers opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

In conclusion, the best time to visit Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park depends on what activities you’re interested in. While summer is a popular time to visit both parks for outdoor recreation, winter offers unique opportunities for winter sports in Great Basin National Park. Regardless of the time of year, both parks offer stunning natural landscapes and opportunities for outdoor exploration.

Family Friendliness of Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park

Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park are both family-friendly destinations that offer a variety of recreational opportunities and educational experiences for visitors of all ages. However, each park has its own unique features and amenities that make it better suited for families with children in different ways.

Capitol Reef National Park is a great option for families with children who love outdoor adventures. The park offers a variety of easy hiking trails, scenic drives, and picnic areas that are perfect for families with young children. In addition, the park’s Visitor Center offers interactive exhibits and educational programs that are designed to engage and educate children about the park’s unique geology and history.

Great Basin National Park is a great option for families with children who love nature and wildlife. The park offers a variety of easy hiking trails, scenic drives, and picnic areas that are perfect for families with young children. In addition, the park’s Bristlecone Pine Trail and Lehman Caves tours offer unique opportunities to learn about the park’s ancient trees and underground formations.

In conclusion, both Capitol Reef National Park and Great Basin National Park are family-friendly destinations that offer a variety of recreational opportunities and educational experiences for visitors of all ages. The best park for families with children will depend on the interests and preferences of the family. However, both parks are sure to provide a memorable and enjoyable experience for families with children.

Leave a Comment